Since independence, India has been facing a number of serious problems of security, and defense is one of them. Her neighboring countries are not all friendly to her. Our western frontier is not at all safe.
Daily, some or the other village is raided by the Pakistani forces. China has not been friendly to us. She has claimed and occupied large parts of our territory. In the name of world peace and defence every country is making military preparations. Under such conditions, it is in the fitness of things that military training should be given in our schools and colleges.
Modern technique of war are quite different form those of our forefathers. Land, naval and air forces are all highly technical affairs. No country can dream to come our successful in a modern war without adequate and upto-date military training. People cannot be trained in such technical matters in a day or two. It is, therefore, proper that some of the educational period of the youth should be used for this purpose also. From this point of view, military training in schools and colleges is most desirable. With a little extra training, these military trained young men will be able to face the challenge of any war. They will serve as a reserve force.
In a democratic country, all citizens are equal. It is not possible for some to sit safely at home, while others face the dangers of war. Every citizen must be ready to answer bravely the call of the nation. This cannot be possible, unless they receive some sort of military training. This can be done most economically and conveniently during the period of education. This makes the advantages of military training quite clear.
Military life is known for its discipline. Military education teaches obedience to law and order. “Theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do and die”, is the motto of a soldier. Military trained persons care more for their duty than for anything else. They consider their duty even above their lives. These are the qualities which make a nation truly great. Our country needs more and more young men, with such qualities of self-sacrifice and devotion to duty. Military education is also useful from this point of view.
The above arguments may lead one to the conclusion that military education is an unmixed blessing. But it is not so. It is not uncommon the military training has placed strength in the hands of undesirable persons. Such persons care neither for their own country, nor for those of others. The world has witnessed two great world wars due to such men. The present state of world affairs does not allow us to take any such risks. A slight mistake may cause world-wide destruction. We must guard ourselves against this grave danger.
Military men behave properly only when they are in military. When they are discharged from military service, they use their military skill and strength in notorious ways. The danger of internal disorder increases with increase in the number of such persons. So military education, instead of proving a blessing, may prove a curse too.
Some people are of the view that military training should be compulsory in schools and colleges. Compulsory military training was introduced in universities and colleges of the country after the Chinese attack in 1962. Many practical difficulties have been experienced. Many students are unfit for such training. Others have no inclination for it. They try to avoid it under one excuse or the other. They do not attend the parades, and if they are detained from appearing in the university examination, they go on strike or threaten to use violence. Those who go to the parades, do not behave properly there.
Keeping in view the above points, the best course seems to be to follow the middle path. Military training should be given in schools and colleges, but it should not be compulsory. Persuasion should be used to attract to it as many students as possible. Students must take it seriously. It is their duty to their nation to take military training. It would enable them to defend their motherland in times of danger.